Despite Microsoft’s fantastic lineup of games included in the Xbox Game Pass service, the company is still struggling to get its subscriber base up. A new report claims that Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscriber count is only half of Sony’s PlayStation Plus service and even Nintendo’s Online subscription has more active subscribers than Game Pass.
Statista reports that as of 31 January 2022, Xbox Game Pass was only sitting on 25 million subscribers. This is compared to Sony’s 49 million PlayStation Plus members and Nintendo’s 32 million.
Microsoft did report over 150% growth in Xbox Game Pass for 2021 but that growth still can’t get those numbers close to surpassing the other two services on the market. It is especially interesting to see considering that Xbox Game Pass is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC platforms.
Active Subscribers as of January 2022 (worldwide)
- Xbox Game Pass – 25 million
- Nintendo Switch Online – 32 million
- PlayStation Plus – 48 million
With Sony’s new PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now merger taking place in June, the company’s instant game library service might have more subscribers than Xbox Game Pass right out of the gate. If only half of active PlayStation Plus subscribers move over to the new Premium, Essential or Deluxe tiers, the service will have more active users than Xbox Game Pass in a shorter amount of time.
The next few months are going to be interesting. Microsoft’s approach to Xbox Game Pass is to deliver a long-term service to gamers. However, with more active members, Sony’s PlayStation Plus game library might be seen as a more attractive service for publishers to release games for free on.
If a developer were to have 40 million people play their game over 25 million, this is a big selling point for Sony. Knowing how the company loves to buy exclusive contracts, they will most likely leverage these stats to lock down future releases as “PlayStation Plus launch day exclusives”.
Sony’s PlayStation Plus service is expected to launch sometime in June. You can read more about the three-tiered online subscription model here.